Staff Reporter THE Balearic government denied that the region was plunged into an economic crisis and claimed that although production and the labour market were not at their best, there had been an “encouraging change in trend.” Government spokesman Joan Flaquer was speaking in response to reactions to statements made yesterday by Balearic leader Jaume Matas. As reported in yesterday's Bulletin, Matas had said that the most recent economic performance by the Balearics is “still a long way from recovering” the successful levels of the past. Flaquer, who was accompanied by labour minister Cristóbal Huguet to back up his words with figures on the evolution of the job market, underlined the government's “extraordinary confidence” in the economic future of the Balearics. He said he regretted the spread of interpretations which did not correspond to what Matas really said. Huguet, quoting figures referring to the month of May, said that in the past decade, the highest level of unemployment (37'733) was in 1994, after which it dropped steadily to a minimum of 14'854 in 2000, rising each year since then to 23'086 last month. “Demand has grown more than employment,” Huguet said, attributing the growth in the work force to the effects of immigration. He said it was necessary to analyse what has happened since 2000 and his department and the ministries of tourism, agriculture and commerce, industry and energy are working on it. Flaquer blamed the problems in the labour market on the previous coalition government, and their “aggressive policies” towards tourism and their clashes with the sector, especially the hoteliers. He added that the way forward was to apply the Partido Popular's electoral programme and claimed that the slowdown in the increase in unemployment showed that their work was “starting to bear fruit.”